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Why Every Business Needs a ‘Charlotte’: A Persona-Led Approach

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

A few eyebrows might have been raised last month when Aston Martin announced they have designed their new model for ‘Charlotte’. Questions were asked about who she is, what does she do, is she real? Well, we’ve got the answers.
 
Paul Hunter, our Marketing Manager here at Liberty, provides a positive identification of Charlotte and explains how businesses of all sizes would benefit by defining their own versions of Aston Martin’s professional lady in her late 30’s.
 
So, Who is this ‘Charlotte’?
 
‘Charlotte’ is the name given by the company to a fictitious character they have created who typifies the target market Aston’s design team have created their new DBX Crossover model for.
 
‘Charlotte’ is a persona. She has been created following extensive research undertaken by the luxury car brand to enable them to attract more female and younger drivers.
 
Aston Martin want to increase the appeal of their brand to a wider audience. Andy Palmer, Chief Executive said,
 
“Aston Martin must be less dependent on a narrow portfolio and one type of customer. We need to be relevant to a customer who would never have considered buying an Aston Martin.”
 

 

 

 

View image on Twitter

 

Aston Martin is unveiling its new DBX in Cardiff this morning http://bit.ly/1mWW3eA 

 

Creating personas for new and existing products and services is not particularly new in marketing. However, there are not many businesses who invest the time and effort in creating customer personas. “We know who our customers are”, “as long as there is demand for what we sell we don’t need to find out more about our customers” or “we don’t have the time” are typical responses you might receive from those who deem the research process – persona non grata!
 

Why Should You Know Your Personas?

 
In our opinion, creating personas are an essential marketing activity for every type of business, regardless of their size or the industry they operate. Personas provide valuable information for marketing departments, design teams and senior management.
 
The data gathered, when analysed, will provide vital information that can be used when developing new products, diversifying existing product ranges and helping you to plan accurate, focused marketing campaigns.
 
‘Charlotte’ is the persona created for the new DBX Crossover. Other models in the Aston Martin range will have different personas. Perhaps the persona created for the DB9 GT was called ‘James’ after a certain well known secret agent?
 
Creating an individual persona or multiple personas does not need to be a complex, drawn out process. It can be adapted for the resources you have available to you and go into as much depth as you consider appropriate.
 
A Good Customer Persona Should Tell You the Following:
 
1. Demographics – Who is your ideal customer? Typical age, gender, location, job title, industry sector.
2. Why do they need your products or services? How does what you offer solve a ‘pain point’ for your customer?
3. Is your customer driven by the price or quality of what you supply?
4. What are your customers’ aspirations? How does your product help them achieve these?
5. How did your customers find you in the first place? Where do they do their research – online, printed media or word of mouth?
6. Are your customer’s early adopters of new technology? Do they prefer camping trips or staying in 5 star hotels?
These might seem irrelevant to your specific products or services but identifying attitudes, opinions and personality traits of your customers will help you understand more about them and this information will help research and marketing activities.
 

How to Create a Customer Persona Profile

 
The most obvious piece of advice is to talk to your existing customers. Don’t just choose your favourite customers, make sure you get a good mix across the board so you can develop a comprehensive persona. Talking to those customers you might not have a great relationship with might highlight specific issues they might have, which will be useful to know and also enable you to resolve these with individual contacts.
 
Start-ups and smaller companies might not have developed their own customer database. They will however, have a good idea about who they want to target and can approach these businesses or individuals to ask similar questions.
 
What Questions Should You Ask?
 
It’s difficult to advise specific questions because these will vary from business to business depending on the purpose of the persona. However, there are some standard queries that regularly pop up. 
 
When working with our clients, we want to establish their target market and how they use the internet.
 
• What do they search for and read?
• What level of information do they require?
• How do they make their online buying decisions?
• How internet savvy are they?
• How do they use social media?
 
These are just a few of the questions we will ask when developing customer personas which we then use our experience and expertise to formulate the digital marketing campaigns.
 
In conclusion, every business should have a ‘Charlotte’. Persona profiling is an extremely effective method to ‘get into the mind-set’ of your target market. It will provide useful information when developing and marketing both new and existing products, and services. It can result in your company identifying unique selling propositions that will resonate with your customers and encourage them to buy your product as you are fulfilling their requirements.

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By

Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Sophie has over 6 years of experience in the social media and content space, working in both in-house organisations and agencies. She has worked with exciting established brands in her time such as Campari, Aperol Spritz, Oppo Ice Cream and PayPal Australia. She enjoys the content creation process – from mapping out the shot and…

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